Kinosternon flavescens 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Reptilia Testudines Kinosternidae

Scientific Name: Kinosternon flavescens (Agassiz, 1857)
Common Name(s):
English Yellow Mud Turtle
Cinosternon flavescens Agassiz, 1857
Kinosternon flavescens ssp. spooneri Smith, 1951
Taxonomic Notes: The former subspecies arizonense and durangoense were elevated to species by Serb et al. (2001). Subspecies spooneri is generally considered synonymous with flavescens (Berry and Berry 1984, Iverson 1992, Serb et al. 2001).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2011
Date Assessed: 2010-08-01
Assessor(s): van Dijk, P.P.
Reviewer(s): Horne, B.D., Mittermeier, R.A., Philippen, H.-D., Quinn, H.R., Rhodin, A.G.J., Shaffer, H.B. & Vogt, R.C
Contributor(s): Frost, D., Hammerson, G.A. & Santos-Barrera, G.
Despite localised declining populations, this widespread adaptable species does not appear to be of conservation concern across most of its range. It is therefore listed as Least Concern.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:

Kinosternon flavescens inhabits the Western Mississippi region, as well as isolated populations in Nebraska, the Illinois and middle Mississippi valleys (Illinois-Missouri-Iowa), through the Pecos-Grande basin of Texas, southwestern and eastern New Mexico, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nueva Leon, and Tamaulipas, to northern Veracruz; also populations in the endorheic basins of northwestern Chihuahua and adjacent extreme southeastern Arizona (Iverson 1992, Serb et al. 2001, Vetter 2004).

Countries occurrence:
Mexico (Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León, Tamaulipas, Veracruz); United States (Arizona, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas)
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Mexico: Kinosternon flavescens is considered common to very common (G. Santos and participants at MX Red List Workshop 2005).
In the United States, the species is considered localized and uncommon in Illinois, but increasingly common from Nebraska to Arizona.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:

Kinosternon flavescens occurs in almost any type of waterbody in desert and prairie areas. In the United States it is well documented to prefer temporary water bodies (review by Ernst and Lovich 2009), while in Mexico it is perceived to prefer permanent streams and permanent and temporary wetlands in grasslands. Depending on local climatic conditions, animals may hibernate or aestivate underground in sand above and some distance (100–450 m) away from water bodies.

The Yellow Mud Turtle feeds opportunistically on a variety of items, primarily animal matter; feeding on earthworms while underground has been reported (review by Ernst and Lovich 2009). In the Nebraska Sandhills, females mature at ages from 11–16 years. Generation time was calculated at 28.2 years, and longevity at this location certainly exceeds 40 years, perhaps significantly longer (Iverson 1991, 2001). 

Females in the Nebraska Sandhills produce a single annual clutch of four to nine eggs (mean 3.9–6.5, SD 1.1), and show unique parental behaviour, the females remaining buried over the nest site for some time, ranging from several hours to over 38 days (Iverson 1990, 1991). Eggs incubated in the laboratory hatch after 94–125 days; natural incubation period grades into hibernation. Hatchlings measure about 24 mm (18–31mm).

Systems:Terrestrial; Freshwater
Generation Length (years):28.2

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Kinosternon flavescens is traded in very small numbers in the pet trade and is not known to be exploited for human consumption.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s):

Habitat degradation and loss is likely a factor for some populations, but not across the whole of the species' range. Reduction of the water table in the United States, leading to the disappearance of surface ponds, is a concern in the United States. No specific threats have been reported from Mexico.

The Illinois populations, previously considered distinct as Kinosternon flavescens spooneri, have been the subject of intensive conservation attention as they declined due to habitat loss.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: In Mexico, turtles in general are protected from exploitation under Mexican wildlife and natural resource legislation; implementation is uneven.

Populations, at least in Illinois and in the Nebraska Sandhills, need further survey and monitoring efforts. The ecological integrity of their wetlands habitats must be preserved and safeguarded from drainage and other systemic impacts (Iverson 2001).

Errata [top]

Errata reason: An errata assessment is required to generate a revised PDF without the range map which had been included in error; no range map was available when this assessment was originally published.

Citation: van Dijk, P.P. 2011. Kinosternon flavescens (errata version published in 2016). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2011: e.T163421A97380845. . Downloaded on 15 October 2018.
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